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In order to make maximum gains, you must train consistently and remain injury free for long stretches of time. Of all the setbacks that can hinder your training, joint injuries are the most devastating. In fact, it doesn't take an obvious injury to completely ruin your training efforts; even pain from just regular "wear and tear" can keep you from working out and side-track your bodybuilding efforts.

Of course you can always take ibuprofen to keep swelling down and acetaminophen to kill the pain, but these drugs only treat the symptoms and are known to cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal/cardiovascular systems when taken repeatedly.

Happily, there are alternatives. In this article, we cover the active ingredients in Extra Strength Joint Command by ProSource -- a proactive, drug-free, and effective approach to joint protection that will keep you healthy and training hard for a long time to come.

Curious about what research-backed compounds make up Extra Strength Joint Command? Well, read on for highlights of the ingredients that make it the best and by far the most comprehensive joint-protection product you can buy!  

Glucosamine Sulfate
This aminosaccaride is an important precursor to glycosaminoglycans such as chondroitin (see below). Glucosamine is an important component of synovial fluid, the body's natural joint lubricant and forms the major structural component of cartilage. This amino sugar is also an integral component of the shells in crustaceans (shell fish), the source from which glucosamine sulfate supplements are generally derived. Taking a glucosamine supplement has been shown to increase sulfate uptake and boost synovial fluid production in joints and help generate new cartilage by activating cells called chrondrocytes. These actions slow cartilage degeneration, repair connective tissue, and keep your joints moving smoothly. In a recent clinical trial published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, it was shown that those with chronic knee pain who took a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin over 2 years, had significant improvements in joint health as indicated by decreased joint space narrowing. Glucosamine is commonly stacked with chondroitin (see below) for synergistic joint protection.

Chondroitin Sulfate
Like glucosamine, this glycosaminoglycan plays an important structural role in joint cartilage. Chondroitin supplements are generally made from isolating the compound from animal cartilage. Chondroitin is a primary structural component of joint cartilage. In supplements, it's commonly combined with glucosamine and used to ease joint inflammation. For advanced weight-training athletes, using this supplement is a beneficial means of addressing potential joint problems. Taking chondroitin with glucosamine is a sensible supplemental strategy for any bodybuilding athlete. In fact, ProSource's Ultra Glucosamine and Chondroitin combines these two essential joint-support compounds in one supplement for the budget-minded athlete.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
MSM is a sulfur-containing compound normally found in many of the foods we eat. Thus, MSM is naturally present in the body. It is chemically related to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), a popular topical treatment for arthritis. DMSO actually breaks down to become MSM in the body after it crosses the skin barrier. Oral MSM provides the body with organic sulfur that improves blood flow and decreases inflammation. A pilot clinical trial, published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage in 2006, reported that MSM improved symptoms of knee pain and physical function in test subjects in just 12 weeks without major adverse events.

Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan that makes up connective tissue like cartilage and is a major component of synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. Several reports have shown that hyaluronic acid injected directly into arthritic joints serves to alleviate joint pain associated with inflammation. In the past, hyaluronic acid treatment required such painful joint injections; however recent developments in oral delivery technology provide a supplemental approach to hyaluronic acid treatment.

Extra Strength Joint Command contains a novel patented compound called HyaMax, which is an orally available, natural, standardized hyaluronic acid supplement. HyaMax is a low-molecular weight hyaluronic acid compound, which touts enhanced bioavailability. A recent randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled pilot trial published in the Nutrition Journal showed that daily oral hyaluronic acid supplementation modulated pain, function, and quality of life in test subjects within only four weeks of treatment.

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5-LOXIN
This is a patented gum resin extract taken from the ancient herb Boswellia serrata. It is  standardized to 3-O-Acetyl-11-keto-beta-Boswellic Acid (AKBA)-enriched Boswellia serrata extract, a compound which has novel anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-inflammatory actions are due to its ability to block 5-lipoxygenase -- a key enzyme involved in leukotriene biosynthesis. Leukotrienes are considered potent mediators of inflammatory and allergic reactions.  In 2008, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy illustrated reported that 5-LOXIN reduced pain and improved physical function in test subjects. They noted significant effects in as little as seven days of treatment. The researchers concluded that 5-LOXIN supplementation may exert its beneficial effect through management of inflammation and improvements in joint health by reducing degradation of cartilage.

Meriva
Curcumin is commonly found in turmeric and curry based food, but has recently been under the experimental spotlight as a supplement to increase health and well-being. Meriva is a proprietary lecithin formulation of curcumin, which has been reported to have analgesic (i.e. pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research reported that taking 2 g of Meriva (corresponding to 400 mg of curcumin) was as effective for pain relief as a standard (1 g) dose of acetaminophen! A previous (2010) review on the efficacy of Meriva, concluded that it is a potent agent for the management of inflammation, and overall improvement in quality of life. Based on these studies, Meriva seems like a good alternative to anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.

Conclusion
You've heard the saying a hundred times, but it's always true. An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. Support joint health with ProSource's Extra-Strength Joint Command and your joints will support you with months and years of productive exercise and overall fitness!


Use supplements as directed and with a sensible nutrition and exercise regimen. Read all product labels and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements may not have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


REFERENCES:
Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006 Mar;14(3):286-94.

Fransen M1, Agaliotis M, Nairn L, Votrubec M, Bridgett L, Su S, Jan S, March L, Edmonds J, Norton R, Woodward M, Day R; on behalf of the LEGS study collaborative group. Glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating single and combination regimens. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Jan 6.

Belcaro G1, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Ledda A, Grossi MG, Togni S, Appendino G. Efficacy and safety of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Dec;15(4):337-44.

Belcaro G1, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Ledda A, Grossi MG, Togni S, Appendino G. Product-evaluation registry of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, for the complementary management of osteoarthritis. Panminerva Med. 2010 Jun;52(2 Suppl 1):55-62.

Sengupta K1, Alluri KV, Satish AR, Mishra S, Golakoti T, Sarma KV, Dey D, Raychaudhuri SP. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(4):R85.

Xia CT1, Yu FF, Ren FL, Fang H, Guo X. Hyaluronic acid and glucosamine sulfate for adult Kashin-Beck disease: a cluster-randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Kalman DS1, Heimer M, Valdeon A, Schwartz H, Sheldon E. Effect of a natural extract of chicken combs with a high content of hyaluronic acid (Hyal-Joint) on pain relief and quality of life in subjects with knee osteoarthritis: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J. 2008 Jan 21;7:3.

Lalithakumari K1, Krishnaraju AV, Sengupta K, Subbaraju GV, Chatterjee A.
Safety and Toxicological Evaluation of a Novel, Standardized 3-O-Acetyl-11-keto-beta-Boswellic Acid (AKBA)-Enriched Boswellia serrata Extract (5-Loxin(R)). Toxicol Mech Methods. 2006;16(4):199-226.

Sengupta K1, Alluri KV, Satish AR, Mishra S, Golakoti T, Sarma KV, Dey D, Raychaudhuri SP. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(4):R85.

Di Pierro F1, Rapacioli G, Di Maio EA, Appendino G, Franceschi F, Togni S.
Comparative evaluation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin (Meriva(®)), nimesulide, and acetaminophen. J Pain Res. 2013;6:201-5. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S42184.

Belcaro G1, Cesarone MR, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Ledda A, Grossi MG, Togni S, Appendino G. Efficacy and safety of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Dec;15(4):337-44.

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